Per Fugelli Lecture 2021: The decolonizing power of planetary health

Open lecture by Renzo R. Guinto.

Image may contain: Plant, Leaf, Nature, Branch, Twig.


In recent years, and most especially in the era of COVID-19, the field of health witnessed the emergence of two parallel discourses.

On one hand, there is a growing clamor for the decolonizing of global health, which has become an agent of the perpetuation of longstanding power asymmetries and exacerbation of social inequalities that it sought to address.

On the other hand, the concept of planetary health – an integrated vision for the combined health of both people and the planet – has arisen amidst the evolving climate emergency and other threats such as biodiversity loss and environmental pollution. 

Dr. Renzo R. Guinto, an emerging health leader who is a staunch advocate for both decolonizing global health and advancing planetary health, will in this lecture reflect on the tight linkages between the two discourses, share about his work in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and present a positive vision for the future of health that is both decolonized and aligned with planetary health principles – from the perspective of the next generation.

This will be a hybrid event. Participants are asked to register in advance.

Students will be served pizza prior to the event, 14:30-15:00.

Register here


15:00:15:05: Welcome by vice rector for research and innovation at UiO, Per Morten Sandset

15:05-15:10: Introduction to Per Fugelli lecture series, by Espen Bjertness

15:10-15:55: The decolonizing power of planetary health, by Renzo R. Guinto

15:55-16:05: Break

16:05-16:15: Commentary, by Ågot Aakra

16:15-17:00: Planetary health and the young - roundtable discussion with students and Renzo R. Guinto, chaired by John-Arne Røttingen

Moderator: Anne Kveim Lie

About Renzo Guinto

Renzo Guinto, MD DrPH is the Chief Planetary Health Scientist and Co-Founder of the newly established Sunway Centre for Planetary Health in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Concurrently, he is the Associate Professor of the Practice of Global Public Health and Inaugural Director of the Planetary and Global Health Program of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine in the Philippines. He is also the convener of Planetary Health Philippines – a community of Filipino planetary health advocates, scholars, and practitioners for exchanging ideas, forging collaborations, and advancing the new discipline of planetary health. 

An Obama Foundation Asia-Pacific Leader and Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, Renzo is a member of several international groups including: Lancet–Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health post COVID-19 (University of Cambridge); Lancet One Health Commission (University of Oslo); Advisory Council of Global Health 50/50 (University College London); Advisory Board of Climate Cares (Imperial College London); and Climate Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems Thematic Working Group of Health Systems Global. Renzo has served as consultant for various organizations including: World Health Organization; WHO Foundation; World Bank; USAID; GIZ; ASEAN; International Organization for Migration; Health Care Without Harm; and Philippine Department of Health. He also sits in the editorial boards of The Lancet Planetary Health; PLOS Global Public Health; Journal of Climate Change and Health; and Journal of Migration and Health. Renzo obtained his Doctor of Public Health from Harvard University and Doctor of Medicine from the University of the Philippines Manila. In 2020, Renzo was included by Tatler Magazine in its Gen.T List of 400 leaders of tomorrow who are shaping Asia’s future.

Renzo Guinto.

    About Aagot Aakra

    Ågot Aakra is Executive Director of the Division for Climate and Environmental Health at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Her scientific background is in biotechnology and microbiology. She received her PhD from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), with a thesis on diversity and phylogeny of soil bacteria. In the early 2000, she studied antimicrobial resistant bacteria and their genome biology. She is a former dean of a NMBU faculty.

    About Per Fugelli (1943- 2017)

    As a general practitioner, Per Fugelli was an independent critic of his own profession for many years. He opposed the bureaucratisation of Norwegian health care institutions. Fugelli took a humanistic approach to health and social policy, focussing on the entire individual. He showed that the best "social medicine" is to build up and share dignity with vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, the poor and those who are physically challenged.

    Through countless lectures and fearless participation in a large number of important debates, he was a prominent contributor to Norway's public space fora for a long time. He was awarded The Freedom of Expression Prize 2013


    Published Nov. 24, 2021 4:58 PM - Last modified Nov. 29, 2021 9:42 AM